It's not a practice I like. My bed is my safe place. I've always wanted to be a cat, simply because they stay curled up in the warm folds of the comforter for as long as they want, stretch their long bodies with a silent yawn around 10:30am, and then groom themselves for a few hours before they go play. Seems like a great life to me, living in a state of perpetual Zen. But fate, or destiny as it may be, had different plans for me. I got the "fortunate" boon of being born a human in this lifetime.
So I have to get out of bed everyday. I have to make stuff happen somehow. Evolve and shit. Quite literally. But I still feel the past-life cat DNA trying to hold me in bed for as long as I can without feeling guilty, which usually starts around 7:30 am. Lately, it's been creeping up in to the 8:00 am range. Which in and of itself wouldn't be a big deal, but I've been depressed. Grieving something I loved so deeply and could not last. Only the mystery knows why.
To kick start my life and my mood, I reached into my Ayurveda tool bag and recommitted to the 5:30am rise-and-shine time. At first, with grand delusions that I would hop out of bed and get my sweet ass to a spin class. It's winter, and I need some endorphins. But that perfectionist's plan simply led to anxiety, resistance, and staying in bed even longer. My inner rebel is stubborn, especially when she feels my inner child is being forced into something without being considered or consulted!
So, we called an inner counsel. Everyone was invited - the magical child, the wounded child, the strict disciplinarian, the perfectionist, the inner feline, the queen, Isis and Sehkmet and many more. We worked together to discover what would feel nurturing, supportive, and inspiring.
So far, the new plan seems to be working. We...
- Wake up at 5:15 to feed the cats,
- Instead of going back to bed, sit on my meditation cushion and connect,
- Stretch a little to get the blood moving,
- Get back into bed and journal, savoring needs and praying to a higher power for the day,
- Read some inspiration,
- Then, as the first light dawns but before the sun crests the mountain, get dressed and head to the river.
Most of the citizens of Asheville don't respect her very much. After a hundred years of industrialization, she's been pretty polluted, so we all bitch about how we can't swim in her because she's infected with Ecoli. But isn't that the case with most sacred beings these days? Look at Ganges! And still that doesn't stops people from cleansing their sins in it.
So, yes, I've started to head to the river to pray. She's been around a long time, and I figure she has a lot of wisdom to share. The prayer changes each day, but most days I'm simply WOW. A way to open to the awe of the beauty that surrounds me, even on these cold grey, brown November days.
I wonder what I'll learn from this goddess. She baths me in the herstory of nature, more cleansing than any shower. I imagine it's a bit like swimming in the unfathomable heart of the blue whale as it calls deep rhythms into the vastness of the ocean.
Today it was the Pilaeted woodpecker, who swooped by in his erratic flight to say hello. He is a shaman, I'm sure of it, bringing messages I still can't translate. Yesterday, it was the squirrels, who jumped out of the trash can to jolt my heart into a joyful laughter. The day before, the brilliance of the sun, peaking out over the mountain before it disappeared behind the molten grey sky. This river, she has such wisdom. I wonder who is listening? I wonder what secrets she'll share.
What I do know, is already she has awakened my heart, soothed my mind and opened my soul. As I follow the advice of Ayurveda, AND Mary Oliver, I will continue to wake early throughout the winter. As I find more harmony, I also find, with absolute effortless effort, that I'm following another one of her directives...Instructions for life...
Tell about it.
Thank you to the resurrection of each day...and the resurrection of life.